Can The Blackhawks Afford Artemi Panarin?

Earlier this week we talked about Artemi Panarin asking for a reported $6M per year (at least) contract from the Blackhawks that would start next season. In that piece, we outlined a pretty good case for his market value being in the $6M per year range given his production, albeit in only one NHL season.

So can the Hawks afford that pricetag?

Artemi Panarin

The answer is yes, but there is work to be done on and off the ice for that to be a luxury the Blackhawks can pay.

As we saw in the first preseason game of the new year, the Blackhawks have every intention of giving some of their young guns a shot at the NHL roster this year. If the Blackhawks are going to afford Panarin, they need some of these youngsters to step up and win a roster spot – and perform well enough to keep that spot moving into the following season (and beyond).

Here are some of the kids fighting for roster spots, and their cap hits for the 2017-18 season:

Nick Schmaltz – $925,000
Tyler Motte – $925,000
Vince Hinostroza – $717,500
Ryan Hartman – $863,333

There are other Blackhawks prospects who have shown promise in both prospect camp and training camp who could be in the mix next year as well.

Luke Johnson – $717,500
Kyle Baun – $625,000
Gustav Forsling – $872,500

If the Blackhawks can go into the summer of 2017 with confidence that at least five of those prospects can be a productive member of the roster the following year, that gives the Blackhawks a much better chance of paying a significant price to keep Panarin around for the prime of his career.

There are a few other issues the Hawks will need to deal with next summer in addition to Panarin, however.

Right now, the Blackhawks only have one goaltender signed into next season: Corey Crawford. If they can get an extension done with Scott Darling for a reasonable cost ($1.5M per or less), that would help set a budget for Stan Bowman moving forward.

The Hawks will also have to consider their blue line depth. Based on only one preseason game, it appears Gustav Forsling will be in the mix by the time next season rolls around for a full-time gig at the UC. But Michal Kempny is on only a one-year contract, meaning the Hawks only have five NHL defensemen – Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Brent Seabrook, Trevor van Riemsdyk and Forsling – signed.

Will Kempny earn another year? Will one of Carl Dahlstrom, Robin Norell or Viktor Svedberg earn a promotion this year?

Those are significant considerations as well.

The other issue the Blackhawks will consider during this season and beyond is the expansion draft. Someone on the Hawks’ roster will be gone, and Chicago’s roster is loaded with no-trade and no-move clauses which will limit the options Vegas has to make a selection.

Vegas’ two most likely options at the expansion draft are van Riemsdyk and Marcus Kruger. Kruger has a $3,083,333 cap hit for two years after the 2016-17 season, but has established himself as a top penalty killer; his play for Sweden at both the Olympics and World Cup of Hockey are evidence of his value.

  • If Vegas takes Kruger, it would hurt the Blackhawks’ penalty kill but help them financially.
  • If Vegas takes van Riemsdyk, it would give the Hawks another gap to fill on the blue line and less wiggle room financially.

Here is a potential Hawks roster for 2017-18:

Jonathan Toews – $10.5M
Patrick Kane – $10.5M
Artemi Panarin – $6M
Marian Hossa – $5.275M
Artem Anisimov – $4.55M
Nick Schmaltz – $925k
Tyler Motte – $925k
Ryan Hartman – $863,333
Vince Hinostroza – $717,500
Luke Johnson – $717,500
Forward Total (10): $40,973,333

Brent Seabrook – $6.875M
Duncan Keith – $5,538,462
Niklas Hjalmarsson – $4.1M
Gustav Forsling – $872,500
Trevor van Riemsdyk – $825,000
Defensemen Total (5): $18,210,962

Corey Crawford – $6M

Base Roster Total (16): $65,184,295

That number, which assumes $6M for Panarin and an expansion draft loss of Kruger’s $3M, would likely leave the Blackhawks with approximately $10M (assuming the cap goes up another $2M for next year) for a backup goaltender, 2-3 forwards and 1-2 defensemen.

However, that $10M is before any bonuses are paid out from the 2016-17 season. Here are the reported bonuses that could potentially be reached by Blackhawks this season:

  • Artemi Panarin: $850,000 (Schedule A bonuses); $1.725 million (Schedule B bonuses)
  • Brian Campbell: $750,000 (10 games played)
  • Nick Schmaltz: $350,000 (Schedule A bonuses)
  • Michal Kempny: $225,000 (games played bonus); $212,500 (Schedule A bonuses)
    Total Potential Bonuses: $4,112,500

Not all of this number would have to necessarily roll over to next season; if the Blackhawks can maintain some cap space this season, they can soften the blow of some of these players achieving their bonuses. Chicago could, in theory, start the season with somewhere between $1.5-2.0M in cap space if some of the prospects can win a roster spot. If the prospects perform well enough that Stan Bowman doesn’t need to dip into the trade market at the deadline, that cap space could be enormous to help next season.

Is approximately $6-8M available for 4-6 players enough?

25 thoughts on “Can The Blackhawks Afford Artemi Panarin?

  • September 30, 2016 at 6:38 am

    And other question remains, how much could cost Kempny’s extensions next summer? From what I get from reports on how good Kempny looks in early preseason, he is already 2-3milj player.

  • September 30, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Can they afford him… sure. They can find a way to pay the money.

    But there is a division team who would likely want to keep Panarin out of this “core” and has the cap and the picks to give an offer sheet. Dallas.

    Sharp/Hemsky/Oduya all come off the books with already 4M in cap. They will have money to burn and can offer the picks it would take in an offer sheet. And with Seguin, Been, Panarin, Kingberg, what will those picks be worth?

    Now would Panarin WANT to sign in Dallas? who knows that…. but dallas could at least kick the tires at going after him.

  • September 30, 2016 at 7:38 am

    re: Tim – Panarin will be a RFA. So other teams with cap space would have to pay a handsome package of draft picks to the Hawks to sign him to an offer sheet, and the Hawks would be able to match said offer sheet if they wanted.

  • September 30, 2016 at 8:08 am

    That is Correct and not to be over looked. However say Panarin has a comparable year and isnt re-signed before the end of the season… What is he worth then (especially if the hawks have a playoff run)? Kucherov and Gaudreau will set the bar, but Tarasenko got 7.5.

    I think the hawks can afford 6M per and need to get the deal done now before he raises his value…

    But if he goes to RFA status with another good year, he could easily fetch 7+ million per and I think it is unlikely the Hawks would match that. 7.3M per would be 1st/2nd/3rd. Anything over 7.3 would mean even more picks, but other GMs know that too and will likely offer more than the hawks can match, but less than 7.305M. If I’m the Dallas GM, and I have money and the picks, i offer Panarin 7M per. Hawks match, they stay in cap hell. They dont, I get the best RFA on the market.

    And just spitballing because my reports arent ready at work… lol…. Assuming Dallas makes the playoffs again and continues to build around Been, Seguin, and then presumably Panarin whats those 3 picks worth? Something like picks 25, 56, 97? Hardly a great haul compared to what Panarin brings. You arent replacing Panarin with those picks (maybe 3 years down the line one of them develops, but not immediately).

    Not saying it WILL happen… but it COULD realistically happen to a team that would directly compete with us… All the more reason to get his done and keep Panarin here!

  • September 30, 2016 at 8:14 am

    If his ask is under 6.5 you sign him now and deal with the rest later. If he is a point a game player this year his ask increases. I am not worried about Kempny at all.

    Next year the D-corps is 2, 4, 7, Forsling. Maybe TvR is still here maybe he’s not. You’d have to think Pokka is retained. So if Kempny sucks…which he could 1 preseason game is hardly a sample size but he has concerns. So worst case you’re looking for a bottom pair d-man. You can find those guys reasonably cheap in FA and you still have options internally.

    There is a ton of unknowns. They could positively and negatively affect the cap situation. If you have one known commodity in signing Panarin now, you deal with the rest later

  • September 30, 2016 at 8:32 am

    for my money there isnt anyone on the roster outside of Panarin that NEEDS to be paid going into next year. If Kempny is good he will get another deal which shouldnt be to crazy of a deal. Im sure he is RFA too.

    Im curious to watch Seabs game as he gets older. Id still like them to move him before that contract starts getting painful. Unfortunately there arent any NHL ready prospects in the pipeline outside of Forsling and the guys fighting for spots.

  • September 30, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Agreed Ernie. 6×6 is fair to just get it done.

    The Hawks cant risk being priced out by letting him get to RFA status.

  • September 30, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Assuming that he continues to produce, 6 million per year will be a bargain in 3 to 4 years from now. Kane had his best year ever and a lot of it was due to the sweet feeds from Panarin. Sign him ASAP.

  • September 30, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Tim, Jamie Benn is due a 4 million dollar raise next summer. They have Brett Ritchie, Radek Faksa, Mattias Janmark, Curtis Mackenzie, Patrick Nemeth, Esa Lindell, andJamie Oleksiak as RFA’s (read raises). Sure they have Sharp and Hemsky’s deals expiring…but look at that roster.

    Next year on the backend they have

    Aside from Klingberg thats a lot of meh, with some bad mixed in. They have 10.4 million tied to 2 goalies and they’re likely to buy one out to add a third. More unknowns than the Hawks. The Panarin compensation for an offer sheet is likely to be a 1st,2nd, and 3rd round picks…between 5.6 and 7.5 salary slot. Hawks could probably find space up to around 7. You also need to look at the history of offer sheets. The last time a sheet was signed was in 2013, Ryan O’reilly. The last time a sheet was accepted was in 1997…Chris Gratton.

    Gaudreau, Ristolainen, Trouba, Rackell, Lindholm, Rieder, Kucherov.

    All RFA without an offer sheet thrown there way

  • September 30, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Worst scenario is that he ends up with Tarasenko in St. Louis.

  • September 30, 2016 at 9:00 am

    I think the hawks should be patient to see how Panarin does in his second year.

    There have been many players over the years that did well in their rookie season only to have a tough second year.

    A “tough second year” for Panarin would be in the Hawks favor. If he does really well again, 6 million may be worth signing him long term.

  • September 30, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Panarin is not a flash in the pan type player. It is very unlikely that he suffers a severe sophomore slump. Could his production be lower by splitting up lines to even out scoring, sure. Either way, if he will accept 6 x $6mm, I say sign him now.

  • September 30, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I agree with BHG above.

    I see no harm in seeing how he does for say the first 1/3 of the season.

    If he continues to perform close to last year then you can justify signing him.

    However by the 1/2 way point (absent injury) it should be clear if he’s a 1 hit wonder (doubtful) or the real deal which I believe he is.

    Hawks should be in no hurry to sign him.

    Ideally a couple of the kids could be pleasant surprises and have very productive seasons. JMHO

  • September 30, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Ernie- Fair points on the frequency of Offer Sheets and that Dallas has their own problems too. I do agree there.

    Yet, one of the biggest hangups is the Pick compensation. It has to be the teams original picks, and rarely does a contending team have all its own original picks. Then, even if they do they need the cap space to sign a top player and be a team with the future to warrant that player wanting to sign. But lets look again in February. by then Dallas could make a deadline deal, give up their 2nd/3rd rounder and then its a moot point anyway! (i hope it is).

    Even with Benn’s raise, they will have roughly 23M in cap to spend (at 73M, more if the cap goes up). Sure they have their own RFA’s but both goalie also come off the books after 2017, so thats 10M more off the books the year after. They could bridge deal some of their 2017 RFA’s and extend them after the goalies are off the books. Again, I’m not saying it will happen, I’m not just writing off the idea that it COULD happen. Its kind of a perfect storm of the Stars being on the up-tick with Benn and Seguin, having their own picks, and having the cap to add a top tier free agent (RFA or UFA).

  • September 30, 2016 at 9:25 am

    I think if you can sign for 6m/yr now the question is can you afford not to

  • September 30, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Bottom line is they can’t win Cups with just Toews and Kane. Panarin seems to be a once in a decade player and you just can’t let them leave. Hard choices are ahead but this kid should call Chicago home for at least the next 6 or seven years.

  • September 30, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Completely agree with Ian Campbell and Big Al >>> sign him asap!

  • September 30, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Is there any chance the Hawks sign Panarin to a one year bridge deal, quickly followed up with a separate extension for years 2-6? I’m not sure how extensions work. This would be an overt attempt to circumvent the cap restrictions by having two separate deals, for sure. And it is likely that Panarin would not go for this, since he indicated he wanted a 6 year deal signed. So maybe this is moot.

  • September 30, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    re: offer sheets & Panarin – a team offering $5,632,847 to $7,510,464 would give up a 1st, 2nd & 3rd round picks based on this summer’s offer sheet compensation. 12 teams don’t have the required picks to make an offer on Panarin already. North of the $7.5M number would require two #1s.

    Check this link.

  • September 30, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Good information on offer sheets but if talks drag on too long and the price goes too high an offer sheet or trade may be only option

  • September 30, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    If the report that he wants a $6Mx6 deal is true – that’s a good deal and one the Hawks should not pass up. A top-6 70+ point scorer is well worth $6M per. Other players on the roster are more easily replaced than Panarin would be. This needs to happen, hopefully soon before we find ourselves after the season and he then wants $7.5M per.

  • September 30, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    ian – talks won’t likely drag on w/ Panarin. Either they’ll get a deal done w/ him before the end of the season or, if there is a gap too large to get a deal done, they’ll move him before the draft like they did w/ Saad.

  • September 30, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Best way to afford 72… is to split him up form 88… 72 will not produce as much… and will not make his “B” Bonus money… would save Hawks Millions.
    I prefer Q to spread the Talent on the lines

    72/19/Schmaltz or Hoss– if Schmaltz- then the “3rd” line will really be the 1st checking line with

  • September 30, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Kruger would definitely have to go and if his defensive center role is moved, one guy you might be missing is Kero. He is actually the prospect forward that played the most NHL games last year and if he is not setting the world on fire now that allows through Hawks to probably extend him as Kruger 2.0.

  • October 1, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Wall, yes that is the way. Can stil play enough games with Kaner to keep raising chemistry and get enough games with tazer and young guns to see how who looks good with who.

    Bread mans player bonus is 1.25 not 3 that would be huge.

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